Ruth Bader Ginsburg dead at 87

This is bad news for so many reasons, and also unexpected given that RBG, as she was called, seemed too tough to die. The news is in the New York Times, which says she died of metastatic pancreatic cancer, always fatal.

Condolences to all who admired her, and especially to her family.

And of course you’ll all be thinking, “Okay, what will Trump do now?” There’s nothing he’d like better than to replace a liberal with a conservative, but when Obama nominated Merrick Garland to the Court, the GOP wouldn’t have it, saying that one shouldn’t nominate a Justice in an election year. That was in mid-March of 2016. Now it’s mid-September, and the GOP would look pretty bad trying to nominate someone this late in the game. But, as the NYT says:

The development will give President Trump the opportunity to name her replacement, and Senate Republicans have promised to try to fill the vacancy even in the waning days of his first term. The confirmation battle, in the midst of a pandemic and a presidential election, is sure to be titanic.

. . . and hypocritical.

RBG was an excellent Justice, and there’s now a hole on the Court, both intellectually and physically. Let it remain unfilled until next year.

110 Comments

  1. Mark Jones
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

    So sorry to hear this, condolences to her family and friends. An inspirational woman :-(.

  2. Mark
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    “The GOP would look pretty bad trying to nominate someone this late in the game.”

    They have long since stopped caring about optics. They’ll do whatever gives them power.

    • BobTerrace
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

      Absolutely true. Trump will nominate someone within a week and McConnell will call for a vote 3 weeks later after a joke of a hearing.

      • Doug
        Posted September 18, 2020 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

        I would be amazed if they didn’t. Say hello to Justice Ted Cruz.

        • merilee
          Posted September 18, 2020 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

          Is Ted Cruz actually on the list??

          • Mark R.
            Posted September 18, 2020 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

            Yes, he is on Trump’s list…as well as Tom Cotton.

            • merilee
              Posted September 18, 2020 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

              Why am I surprised?🙀

          • Posted September 18, 2020 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

            That would be one less Republican senator who can vote for confirmation.

            • GBJames
              Posted September 18, 2020 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

              Oh, they’ll find a way.

              • rickflick
                Posted September 18, 2020 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

                McConnell’s special rule. Hereafter to be known as the Ted Cruz rule.

    • eric
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

      Yep. We’ll have one in before the election. It will break all political norms, but McConnell will do it.

      Condolences to all her friends, loved ones, and family.

  3. Marilyn
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

    Sorry, but McConnell has said several times that he will not wait, in this case. Get ready for the next Supreme Court Justice—-Ted Cruz

    • Jenny Haniver
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

      McConnell is rubbing his hands together in glee and champing at the bit. McConnell, Barr, and Trump will surely down a magnum of champagne to celebrate what for me is a national tragedy.

      Is there ANYTHING the Dems can do to stop the juggernaut?

      • Historian
        Posted September 18, 2020 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

        There are now 53 Republicans in the Senate and 45 Democrats plus two independents that caucus with the Democrats. It would take four Republicans to vote against the Trump nominee, before or after the election.

        With election day so close and then a lame duck session following, it is possible that enough so-called moderate Republicans will buck Trump and McConnell and reject the nominee. But, we know that McConnell will apply maximum pressure to the Republicans, so my feeling is that the future is bleak, indeed. The Republicans may very well lock up the Court for a generation or longer. Look forward to a theocracy and many other bad things. The Ginsburg death may have long-term repercussions greater than the defeat of Trump. The right-wing dominance of the courts at all levels could spell the doom of Democratic legislation, including that dealing with climate change. The youth of America have no idea what awaits them, even if Trump loses.

        • Jenny Haniver
          Posted September 18, 2020 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

          Alas, how right you are.

          • jezgrove
            Posted September 19, 2020 at 4:14 am | Permalink

            Ditto.

        • John Dmytrenko
          Posted September 19, 2020 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

          Your very bleak comment may very well describe the future US. This is so disappointing.

    • Posted September 18, 2020 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

      In related news, a group of Republican senators were suddenly sucked into a black hole in Washington DC this evening. “The fabric of spacetime could not withstand so much hypocrisy concentrated into a small area,” the director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy admitted.

    • frednotfaith2
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

      Yep, McConnell doesn’t care in the least if he’s called out on his sheer hypocrisy as long as he gets his way. He is utterly loathsome and every progressive American who voted for a 3rd party candidate because Hillary just wasn’t pure enough for their oh so high standards can now rejoice that tRump has had so many opportunities to pack the Supreme Court with anti-progressive extremists who will be on the court for many decades to come.

  4. merilee
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    Looking bad is their middle name!
    Very sad.

  5. JMark
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

    If Trump does manage to appoint someone I wonder if Biden will then expand the Court?

    • revelator60
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

      I think that would be the only fitting response to Republican skullduggery.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

      First thing on the agenda, followed by statehood for the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

    • Marilyn
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

      In the history of the Supreme Court, Congress has changed the number of justices 5 times so it’s not out of the question

  6. Ken Pidcock
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

    …and the GOP would look pretty bad…

    Oh, C’mon. They don’t give a shit.

  7. Blue
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

    I am personally devastated.

    Not as much as 1 – 1/2 years ago
    when I lost William, My Person,
    to metastatic / IV pancreatic CA.

    But … … nearly so.

    Blue

  8. Andrea Kenner
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

    I am devastated.

  9. Barry Lyons
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

    I hope her wish is respected:

    “My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.”

  10. GBJames
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

    Extremely sad and frightening. Do not expect decency or principled consistency from Moscow Mitch.

  11. StephenB
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

    I’m thinking especially of her son Jim Ginsburg, head of Cedille Records, who lives in the Chicago area.

  12. Jimbo
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

    Oh no. The Democrats better start snorting some testosterone and meth to oppose this nomination until after the election. Their pathetic capitulation to McConnell on Merrick Garland irks me still. Some Dems need to die on this hill, masks off, screaming spittle-laden accusations of hypocrisy in Congress, and taking a stand.

    • rickflick
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

      “pathetic capitulation”

      I don’t think they had any choice in the matter.

      • Jimbo
        Posted September 18, 2020 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

        Technically, no but this was an unprecedented move by the Republicans bordering on unconstitutional. The Democrats could have waged war but didn’t

        • rickflick
          Posted September 18, 2020 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

          I have no idea what you mean by “waged war”. Unless you mean made more of a publicity stink. Not sure if that would have helped or hurt. McConnell was going to do it regardless.

  13. Ken Kukec
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

    If this hypocritical sonuvabitch Mitch McConnell tries to ram the confirmation of a replacement through what’s left of this senate session … everywhere is WAR!

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

      Republican US senator from Alaska Lisa Murkowski has already announced she will NOT vote to confirm a replacement during this session. I don’t think Mitt Romney will either. If so, that means two more Republican senators will have to tergiversate to deny McConnell the 50 votes he needs.

      I’ve been bitterly disappointed time and again by Republican senators for the past four years. Please shock us by showing that there are at least two more of you that at long last have some sense of integrity.

      • Veroxitatis
        Posted September 18, 2020 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

        I am so sorry for this further set back to your country. I saw the film ‘ On the basis of sex ‘ last year and was much impressed by this account of the early years of Ginsberg’s life.
        I am so glad that we do not have elected judges in the UK and that recent suggestions by Johnson’s Administration that Parliament should have some involvement in vetting candidates for Supreme Court Justice have gained little support. The attitude of the current Bench and judges of the higher courts and the Appeal Court in England & Wales is such that I firmly believe they would resign en masse were any such system implemented.
        Is there no legal action which the Democrats or any individual could take to delay Senate Hearings?

      • eric
        Posted September 18, 2020 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

        Collins has also said she won’t seat a justice, however, she’s disappointed people to believed her “I’m a moderate” line before.

        Even if we trust her (…again…), I’m not sure where abstention #4 would come from. Maybe Cory Gardner? He’s in a close race. Colorado is probably blue (well, purple-blue) at this point. He might see a path to reelection through appealing to moderates and even some Dems by opposing a late nomination. Other than that, I got nothin’. Maybe someone more politically savvy has some ideas.

        • Posted September 18, 2020 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

          Gardner will tow the Trump line to hopefully his bitter end.

  14. dd
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

    I have had kidney cancer…by pancreatic cancer seems more devastating.

    Politically astute friend say the GOP may even have a nominee by Monday and that M. McConell is a “pitbull”.

    They are also fearful of a civil war…like the ones with guns, lots of them.

    Another friend says the GOP will use it as rallying point for the base, but won’t nominate.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

      A civil war is right — not a shooting kind, let us hope, but time to take it to the streets for some serious civil disobedience if Republicans look like they’ve got the juice to follow through with this bullshit.

  15. rickflick
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    “the GOP would look pretty bad”

    That hasn’t stopped them in the past. I think they’ll try and likely succeed in foisting a young, arch conservative, anti-Roe vs Wade, white male onto the court (he may also be a relative or close friend of tRump or McConnell.

  16. Randall Schenck
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

    I suspect there may be enough Senators to vote against nominating prior to election but that’s about it. Soon as election is over they will still attempt to fill before Biden takes over.

    It’s a very bad day in America but then we have made our own bad days.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

      I should also have said there is no good news about any of this. If nothing happened for the next several month the court will still be 5-3 and I believe they go back in session in 2 weeks.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

      The key (if there is one) is to force the two Republican senators running for reelection in blue states — Susan Collins of Maine and Cory Gardner of Colorado — to go on record as to what they will do BEFORE the election.

      I’d like to think there’s some chance that the three retiring Republican US senators — Mike Enzi of Wyoming, Pat Roberts of Kansas, or Lamar Alexander of Tennessee — might show some class and integrity, but I’m having a hard time mustering any hope.

      • Historian
        Posted September 18, 2020 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

        In combination of the election and Ginsburg’s death we are entering a stage of political polarization unparalleled since the Civil War. Democrats need to work on the assumption that McConnell will have no concern with public attention and attempt to ram through Trump’s nominee. Democrats need to play the hardest of hardball. If Schumer has the guts, which is not all certain, he should announce the following:

        1. Democrats will employ ever legal method to neutralize McConnell’s actions.

        2. He should threaten, with Biden’s approval, that the following will take place if the Democrats win the presidency and take back the Senate.

        3. First, the Democrats will end the filibuster.

        4. Second, the Democrats will pass legislation that Biden will sign that will expand the Supreme Court from nine members to fifteen.

        5. In the first week of Biden’s administration, he will nominate six new justices.

        6. In a month or less, all justices will have a hearing and be confirmed.

        7. Within the first 100 days of the Biden administration, all the legislation that Biden supports will be signed into law, including expansion of Obamacare and climate legislation.

        8. In effect, Democrats will tell McConnell to go to hell.

        The reason Republicans and conservatives in general have been so successful over the past few decades is that they have been relentless and ruthless. Democrats have never fully grasped this, operating in the delusion that somewhere there are reasonable Republicans. Maybe now, they will wake up. We are in desperate times that call for desperate measures. Republicans will need to learn what playing hardball really means. Yes, there may be a backlash against the Democrats, but by that time the Democrats will control the Supreme Court and the legislation they passed will make it difficult for Republicans to repeal them, although they will try. The time is now past for Democrats to allow the Republicans to destroy democracy, since the majority of the nation favor Democrats over Republicans. Of course, the Democrats need to win back the Senate and elect Biden. If both things don’t happen, particularly if Trump wins, the last pretense that the United States is a democracy will be shattered.

        • Jimbo
          Posted September 18, 2020 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

          Great points.
          End the filibuster and end the electoral college too. End gerrymandering. Pass automatic voter registration for all US citizens and fund all states for updating voting machines and approve a mail-in vote system with increased security features.

          If Republicans want to weaponize majority rule, obstruct instead of compromise, and undercut democratic norms then fix our democracy: true majority rule that every American can participate in.

          • Posted September 18, 2020 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

            And maybe add term limits.

            • ritaprangle
              Posted September 19, 2020 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

              No term limits. Because term limits make it easier to buy a legislator. That is why the evil Koch brothers pushed for term limits.

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted September 19, 2020 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

            If Republicans want to weaponize majority rule …

            Majority rule’s got nothing to do with it for Republicans. It’s all about a minority party clinging to power at any cost.

        • Posted September 19, 2020 at 8:08 am | Permalink

          With respect to the supreme court, the legislation needs to mandate fixed term limits and/or a retirement age. If you mandate 70 as the age limit, three supreme court justices will need to be replaced immediately – two Republicans and one Democrat. Even losing the Democrat is a good thing because he is 82 and you never want to be in the position of hoping that a dying judge will make it to the next Democratic president again.

          These are actually still only sticking plaster measures. SCOTUS is fundamentally broken because it is overtly political and the Constitution is not fit for purpose.

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted September 19, 2020 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

            Problem is, you pitch the US constitution and try to start afresh with a new constitutional convention, there’s no way this nation doesn’t come apart at its seams.

            The country is so polarized, there is nothing like the “Connecticut compromise” or the “three-fifths compromise” or any of the other compromises reached in Philadelphia in 1787 that could continue to hold the red states and blue states in a union together.

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted September 19, 2020 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

            Other thing is, you can’t put a term limit or fix an age of retirement for federal judges by statute (only by going through the very difficult process of amending the constitution), since the “Good Behavior” clause of Article III, Section 1 means federal judges are appointed for life.

            • Posted September 21, 2020 at 8:32 am | Permalink

              That’s another of those unfortunate points that the Founding Fathers got wrong, or, at least, didn’t foresee as becoming a problem.

    • eric
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

      That’s a good point. Very true, the GOP could avoid angering a lot of moderate voters by delaying action until after the election, but then push through someone between November and January.

      The only flaw in that plan is that I think a lot of standard, moderate Republican representatives really don’t like Trump. Practically every one of them who has quit/decided not to run has come out against him. So if he loses the election, and these Senators get reelected (and so are safe for 6 more years), and they see no political capital to be gained in working with him, he might have a lot less support in Congress than he thinks. That’s just blue-skyying though.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted September 19, 2020 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

        It may occur to Donald Trump that he can blackmail wavering conservatives into staying in his camp by holding the SCOTUS seat open, telling them that the only way they get another conservative on the Court is to reelect him.

        It’s not like he cares about his historical legacy of squeezing in a third right-wing justice before being run out of office. He cares only about winning reelection so he can line his pockets and stay out of prison.

  17. pablo
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

    Well there goes any chance of reasonable medical insurance reform. I also suspect that in the next couple of years we’ll lose abortion rights, gay marriage, and any kind of enforcement of the Voting Rights Act..
    I always thought the best government would have a balance between the legislative and the judicial, so that if you had a right leaning government then a left leaning court is best. I really hope there’s a blue Senate and a Biden presidency to mitigate the damage of a Trump court.

  18. phoffman56
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

    Look-pretty-bad-icans–only about 999 times in the last few months, quite apart from the last 3 ½ years. The rest of the time, they looked fucking awful-almost always. And evil ugliness is not just in the eye of the beholder here. It’s in the eyes of the whole world.

    Any chance 4 Senators are worried enough about re-election to sink that boat? Collins is very unpopular on the Kavanaugh vote.

    • phoffman56
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

      The expected inundation from USian cable news brings to mind the likelihood that the rest of the world mostly might not give a shit about this, except for feeling sorry for our friends in US.

      After all, as far as it directly affects us, if Mass Murderer donald and Mini Murderer vladimir decide to have a thermonuclear holocaust, they won’t be consulting their judges on whether it’s a fine idea to bomb the human species back 25,000 years, or maybe to minus infinity (extinction).

      The other, perhaps more important matter for the rest of us, namely turning the planet into a similar one to Venus, where lead melts at ground level, maybe the ‘Supreme’ Court will have an effect on climate change action, but surely far less than which politician takes over the reigns in Washington.

  19. Jim
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

    This such a heartbreaking feeling, she will be missed by all who fight for Democracy!
    Trump will not care about any past precedent set by his party of fools.

    • phoffman56
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

      Partially fools, but mainly very evil assholes.

  20. Joe Dickinson
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

    Can you say “turtle-faced hypocrite”?

    • merilee
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

      Ahyup

  21. Jon Gallant
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

    As I’ve suggested before, the ideal nominee for Trump and McConnell would be a lawyer with the right international connections:
    Ната́лья Влади́мировна Весельни́цкая, with whom Donald Jr. met in Trump Tower in 2016. They were discussing Russian adoptions, so Don Jr. explained, certainly an important issue for the Supreme Court to consider in future.

    • rickflick
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

      A Russian spy on the court might lose him 1 or 2 votes, but it would win him a dozen more. People are like that. Let’s face it.

  22. Ken Kukec
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

    Mitch McConnell has issued a statement saying he will seek to confirm a Trump nominee to replace Justice Ginsburg this session.

    My one relief at this moment is that I am not within lung-ripping-out distance of that rotten, two-faced bastard right now.

    • rickflick
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

      I assume he’s cowering in the basement at this very moment.

      • merilee
        Posted September 18, 2020 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

        He’s crawled into his shell.

  23. Posted September 18, 2020 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

    2020 really, really sucks.

    • Mark R.
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

      true that…times two thousand and twenty.

  24. Mark R.
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

    McConnell and Trump will try and push some radical GOP ideologue onto the court, that’s a fact. Our only hope is that some GOP Senators will actually understand what’s at stake and the hypocrisy of doing McConnell’s sinister bidding (I’m not hopeful). The 2020 election will be won or lost by women voters; I hope this travesty will embolden them even more. The stakes for women’s rights couldn’t be higher, let alone the rights for LGBTQ Americans, immigrants and the rights of all Americans against the corporate overlords who currently control the entire GOP and too many Dem politicians. At this point, it seems religion has a favorable chance of becoming America’s downfall. Not the first country to be destroyed by the poison that is religion…as if that’s any consolation.

  25. Ken Kukec
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

    I take the message RBG dictated to her niece with her last that “My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed” to be the equivalent of the famous last words of Joe Hill: “Don’t mourn, organize!”

  26. W.Benson
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

    Congress, I believe, sets the number of justices on the court. Thus, if the Democrats win the presidency and majorities in both houses in November, the court could be expanded to, say, 19, with 10 additional justices, all liberals less than 30 years old, just to show Democrats can play dirty too.

  27. drosophilist
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

    This is heartbreaking. But here is my wish for any American reading these words: please, please do what you can to help the Democrats win the White House and Senate. There are awesome organizations working on this: Swing Left, Indivisible, Vote Save America, with lots of opportunities to phone bank and send letters/postcards to voters. I just finished writing 50 letters to voters in PA, and I’m about to start writing 100 more.

    Do not go gentle into that good night! Rage, rage against the dying of the light!

  28. Posted September 18, 2020 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

    Sub

  29. Posted September 18, 2020 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

    Evidently, no one in Washington has seen the movie ‘Weekend at Bernie’s’

  30. Posted September 18, 2020 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

    Evidently, no one in Washington has seen the movie ‘Weekend at Bernies’s’

  31. Harrison
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    It’s funny seeing all these people talking about Biden needing to pack the courts and strongarm Congress into passing a strong agenda.

    Don’t get me wrong. These are good ideas. It’s just that Biden is the last man who would ever actually do any of them. He ran on moderation and he will be moderate to a fault. Dems will let Republicans walk all over them. They will take the blame for failing to get anything significant done and get cleaned out in the 2022 midterms. 2024 will elect another, worse Republican President. And then we’ll be right back to where we started but worse.

  32. Ken Kukec
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

    Here is South Carolina US senator Lindsey Graham, current chairman of the senate judiciary committee (the committee that would have to hold hearings on the confirmation of a nominee to replace RBG) on C-SPAN at the 2018 Atlantic Festival, saying point blank that if a vacancy occurs on SCOTUS in the last year of Trump’s term HE WILL NOT HOLD HEARINGS to confirm that nominee during that year. (See video at 20:30 to 21:30).

    • BJ
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

      Graham is an odd duck. At times in his political career, he’s shown significant backbone in being willing to go against his party, but at others — and especially during this administration — he’s appeared to be nothing but happy to carry water.

      I think both of those are mere appearances. He’s just someone who is better than most at knowing which way the political winds are blowing. If he senses that Trump is in for a defeat and/or the GOP is about to go through a “de-Trumpification,” he’ll stand by what he said; if not, he’ll say, “fuck it.”

    • Posted September 19, 2020 at 5:53 am | Permalink

      Oh good, now we have something to embarrass him with when he goes hypocritical.

  33. BJ
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

    My Reaction: https://nsfwyoutube.com/watch?v=1lElf7D-An8

    Some brief NSFW images

    (It’s the “Oh fuck” scene from The Wire)

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

      I always loved the scenes between Bunk and McNulty best, including this one.

      • BJ
        Posted September 19, 2020 at 12:16 am | Permalink

        I know every line and it still cracks me up every time. People don’t realize just how important casting is. They talk about the writing and the direction, but casting is tough, especially when you’re putting together a cast of largely unknown (to the general public) actors, like The Wire did.

        And editing, though not as important or difficult with this scene.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted September 19, 2020 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

          Hey, I watched Spike Lee’s latest, Da Five Bloods, which was recommended as one of the top 50 on Netflix in the NYT article Jerry linked to recently.

          It features two of the regulars from The Wire, Clarke Peters (Lester Freamon) and Isiah Whitlock, Jr. (Clay Davis, who even cuts loose with one of his patented “sheeeit!”s).

          Think Apocalypse Now meets The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.

          • merilee
            Posted September 19, 2020 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

            I loved Lester’s dollhouse furniture and the “Indian” he played in Treme.

            • merilee
              Posted September 19, 2020 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

              Also the furniture restorer in Chance, with Hugh Laurie, and of course the cop in Three Billboards. And speaking of the latter, we saw the fabulous Frances McDormand in Nomadland (virtually) at TIFF last week. Won awards at Cannes and will be released (whatever that means now) in early December

  34. savage
    Posted September 19, 2020 at 2:29 am | Permalink

    She took her obligations seriously to the end, but it is sad that there is no sensible system that allows such ill justices to be replaced under such circumstances.

    • Posted September 19, 2020 at 8:20 am | Permalink

      It’s just a shame she didn’t have the foresight to realise that the might happen and resign during Obama’s term when she was already in her late 70’s.

      I see Stephen Breyer, another Dem is 82. You’d better hope he is assiduous in his self isolation or Moscow Mitch might have two places to fill.

      • Posted September 19, 2020 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

        She thought Hillary was going to win, like everyone else did.

        • Posted September 21, 2020 at 8:29 am | Permalink

          I was thinking about earlier in Obama’s presidency. I don’t suppose it even occurred to her that Hilary would win during Obama’s first term, or necessarily even in the first two years or so of his second term.

          By the time we knew that Hilary would be the Dem candidate and Trump was her opponent, it was already too late.

  35. Posted September 19, 2020 at 5:44 am | Permalink

    A periodic reminder that accusations of hypocrisy can easily backfire. The non-hypocrite position of Democrats would be to allow that the sitting President gets to fill the vacancy, as was their principled position before.

    Demanding of Moscow Mitch he’d now adhere to his previous behaviour is actually becoming a hypocrite as well. The Democrats have opposed this arrangement moments earlier and now want to symbolically embrace it as it might be favourable in the current situation.

    All of this is very bad and raises the stakes even more.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

      There’s a world of difference in filling a SCOTUS vacancy nearly a year before a president leaves office (as Ronald Regan did when he named Anthony Kennedy to replace Lewis Powell in 1988, and as Republicans blocked Barack Obama from doing in 2016) and in trying to squeeze in a replacement just 45 days before a presidential election (as Republicans are trying to do now, and as Democrat Lyndon Johnson declined to do when it became clear that Abe Fortas would not be confirmed as chief justice in the late summer of 1968).

      You’re conjuring hypocrisy where none exists.

      • Posted September 19, 2020 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

        If you cite a different precedent, then what I wrote above does not apply.

        It was meant to the very common talking point that Moscow Mitch, having stalled before, should now do the same in this case. This case is hypocritical, because Democrats precisely disagreed with McConnel’s behaviour (rightfully so) but now say he should do it again, now that it suits their interest.

        This does not apply when the argument, at the outset, is that a vacancy should not be filled a certain time before an upcoming election.

      • Posted September 20, 2020 at 11:31 am | Permalink

        Sorry, Ken, but I have to agree with Aneris on this one. When it served their ends the Republicans favored waiting until after the election but now favor filling it before; when it served their ends the Dems favored filling the vacancy before the election and now favor waiting until after. I don’t see “a world of difference.”

        • Posted September 20, 2020 at 11:34 am | Permalink

          The relevant difference is March versus mid-September, and leaving the Court vacant for nearly a year as opposed to four months. I didn’t say there was a “world of difference.”

  36. Nicolaas Stempels
    Posted September 19, 2020 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    “The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president” dixit Mr McConnell in 2016. There is no way Mr McConnell is going to hear a new Supreme Court candidate during an election year. /s

  37. YF
    Posted September 19, 2020 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    When will the Dems learn that the Repugs are a wholly different kind of creature:

    Ruthless, devoid of empathy and compassion, and seeking power at all costs, even if it means burning the entire world down- which they appear to be successfully doing..

    • GBJames
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 10:49 am | Permalink

      What makes you think that Democrats don’t understand this?

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted September 19, 2020 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

        Yeah, Democrats understand this; they’ve simply been unwilling thus far to play the same down and dirty game themselves.

        If Republicans succeed here, it will leave Democrats no choice but to respond in kind.

        • GBJames
          Posted September 19, 2020 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

          It always seems to me that the argument goes something like “Dems don’t understand how awful Republicans are or they would act like Republicans.”

          • Mark R.
            Posted September 19, 2020 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

            I think it’s more: “Dems understand how awful republicans are, yet can’t adopt that malicious mindset.”

            Some people are not able to force in themselves acts which they can’t live with and/or know are inherently wrong. I think it’s perhaps a genetic difference of world view. No way to prove that though.

          • Harrison
            Posted September 20, 2020 at 10:17 am | Permalink

            If Dems understand how depraved their opposition is but still actively choose to play softball with them on so many issues, well, the word “complicit” comes to mind.

            If you know your opposition is made up of amoral, hypocritical, bad faith scoundrels, then the least you could do is treat them as such.

            • GBJames
              Posted September 20, 2020 at 10:39 am | Permalink

              Complaints like this always fail to specify what it means to “play hardball” and “treat them as such”. Please be more specific and describe what you think Dems should do that doesn’t require them to become amoral, hypocritical, bad faith scoundrels.

            • Posted September 20, 2020 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

              “If you know your opposition is made up of amoral, hypocritical, bad faith scoundrels. . . .”

              “Amoral, hypocritical, bad faith scoundrels” pretty much defines “opposition” for both parties these days. It’s simply a secular version of “God is on our side,” which both sides passionately believed during the Civil War.

              • GBJames
                Posted September 20, 2020 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

                “Both sides”-ism simply doesn’t wash, Gary.

              • Posted September 20, 2020 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

                “‘Both sides’-ism simply doesn’t wash, Gary.”

                Objectively, you may be right, GB. Subjectively, you’d have no way of knowing.

  38. Posted September 19, 2020 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    Condolences to all of you. What an inspiring figure she was and what big shoes she’s left to fill. I hope she didn’t suffer greatly in the end, but now she has laid down her burden. She will be sorely missed.


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